Dirk is an information security professional who has always been a cryptography geek. After over 20 years of traditional infosec, he recently made the leap (headfirst) into the blockchain and cryptocurrency world. Dirk is currently the head of Cyber Risk and Applied Cryptography for Salt Blockchain Technologies where he is excited to finally play with crypto every day. Dirk’s previous roles include Vice President of Enterprise Risk & Compliance at Coalfire, Managing Principal at Leviathan Security, and Chief Security Architect for ConQwest (now Towerwall). He writes (occasionally) and speaks (as often as people will let him) on security and crypto related topics.

Course Title
Crypto in Context: How We Got to Blockchains

Course Description
This session will delve into a brief history of cryptography from early ciphers, through the introduction of computation, culminating in modern asymmetric encryption techniques.  The focus will be on understanding how cryptography developed over time driven by (or in many cases driving) technology, to arrive where it is now and how blockchain technology is a natural progression.  This session is intended for beginners and/or non-computer professionals. During the session Dirk willl help you to work through how cryptography works conceptually, not entirely without math, but concentrating more on how the math is applied (while allowing computers to do the heavy lifting for us).  A computer, tablet, or phone with web access will be needed to access the tools that will be used to demonstrate and play with some of the cryptographic techniques discussed.

You will learn how cryptography developed, how cryptographic keys work, the difference between symmetric and asymmetric encryption, what elliptic curve cryptography means, how to use hashes, and how it all goes together in the blockchain world.